Traveling with family can sometimes feel like a circle act and why most parents decide to stay and relax at home during the holidays instead of embarking on family travel. Reasons being, the thoughts and stories. The thoughts of constantly being on alert for hazards turn and questions on what stroller can I take on a plane? how about jetlag? many away instead of the thoughts of spending time, relaxing, and enjoying the unique experience together. Traveling with kids can totally be rewarding while you enjoy mind-blowing experiences if planned well.
In this article, we will break down all the basic actionable hacks and travel tips that will come in handy when embarking on family travel. You can also read up on the best-ever tips for traveling with babies here.
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The best way to make your family trip eventful, fun, and comfortable is to pack all the essentials that you will need on the trip. Here are some tips when it comes to packing for family travel.
Create a packing list for each member of the family
Share the load and get the kids involved. Before you start packing, write down the clothes, essentials (including medication) that each member of the family needs and can pack. You can also list the number of outfits that each person needs and can carry. This will help to make packing easier and include every member of the family in the planning process for the trip.
Pack Some Travel Snacks
Make sure you bring snacks with you, especially if you will be traveling for hours. Snacks are also a godsend for unforeseen circumstances such as long transits or flight delays.
Store important documents and items properly
When packing, try to put all the important items in their own small bag so you can easily grab them whenever you want. This will also help to make sure that you do not forget them during the trip. Some of the important items, documents, and items that you can keep in the bag are keys, passports, headphones, IDs, etc. It's the "go-to" bag.
Pack All the Necessary Meds
When going on family travel with your children, ensure that you bring all the medications that you may need together with their prescriptions and keep them in a safe place. Kids are adventurous little things and may accidentally injure themselves. Try to pack a first aid kit with necessary meds and bandages so you don't need to search for where to buy them on your trip.
Lighten your load
Excess packing should be avoided as every single piece of garment adds up. Trying packing and traveling light and bring only the necessities such as clothes, bottles. If needed, bring lightweight travel accessories, etc. Bringing too many things when traveling the world can be stressful especially if it's a longer trip. The more you bring, the more you have to carry!
Bring childproof essentials
Children are curious individuals, and this is why a parent should always try to pack childproof essentials and a parenting safety kit just in case. Parents should always lock hotel cabinets, fridges, and keep everything with sharp edges in the hotel away to prevent accidental injuries and accidents.
Try To Pack Extra Pair Of Everything In The Case
With a sock here and a toy there, it can be a challenge not to lose things while traveling around with kids. Plan ahead by making sure there is an extra pair of socks, clothes, etc., that can come in handy whenever you need it.
When traveling with family, you need to be on the lookout for deals to help save money. Here are some tips that you need to know about booking for family travel to help your hip pocket and make your travel seamless. For beach, holidays check out our 3 little known tips for saving money on a beach vacation.
Book Flights In Advance
Flight prices usually fluctuate and there are times when you can get a flight at a cheap rate. You can make a purchase of your flight ticket in advance before your travel date to help save money. Different airlines have different booking windows so make sure you do your research. Many also believed that you can fly for a bargain if you buy your tickets Tuesday evenings or fly during midweek. There are definitely deals to be had, you just need to look. Seek and you will find.
Book child-friendly hotels and Airbnbs
You should keep in mind that not every hotel is child-friendly. This is why you need to be on the lookout for hotels that are family-friendly instead of business hotels. Furthermore, if possible you should try to book hotels with a kitchenette so you can cook in case you don't want to order out. Websites such as TripAdvisor are a great source of information when hunting for family-friendly hotels and travel.
Book hotels with free breakfast
When traveling abroad, food can be expensive and even more when you are feeding a family of 3, 4, and 5+, including yourself. Breakfast is an important part of the day, that's why it is best to book hotels that offer free breakfast. You will not only save money but time by not having to venture out looking for breakfast.
Watch for airfare sales
If you want to get the best prices for airfares and you have a few travel destinations in mind, you can set airfare alerts using applications and websites like Airfarewatchdog. The best thing about these sites is they will make suggestions and provide information on the cheapest months and days for your preferred destinations. All you have to do is, be ready to book once a good fare comes up.
Try To Order Out
Traveling includes exploring new cultures and one of the top ways to explore the world is through food. Many families tend to stick to what they normally have "at home", however, there are times when it will be easier and more convenient to order local take-outs instead of finding a McDonalds or Starbucks. Furthermore, your little ones thank you after a long day and you won't have to deal with their shenanigans while looking for a place to eat.
Here are some parenting hacks to help make your family travel experience more comfortable and eventful.
Use the Family Lanes to Cut the Long Airport Security Lines
Long lines at the airport can make anyone squirm and not the best with kids in tow. Product like the multi award-winning TernX Carry On luggage stroller is a god sent when it comes to long lines, waits, and delays. To avoid long lines check in online and/or look for the TSA family lanes. More and more airports are becoming family-friendly and you will find several airports with these lanes for families with kids.
Reduce The Screen Time
Traveling is the perfect opportunity for kids to grow and learn new things, so try to minimize screen time while on vacation as this can distract them from what the real world offers and amazing activities to be had.
Try to Do Things Together
Sounds simple but can be easily forgotten. To keep everyone happy on vacation, plan activities that the whole family can do and enjoy together. Turn your moments into memories and your kids will remember these moments well into adulthood.
Here are some moving hacks and other travel tips just for you when traveling with your family.
Use the Buddy System
When traveling with the family, always ensure that everybody keeps tabs on each other. Even when you have older kids on the trip (unless they are adults!), it's recommended to avoid letting them go exploring on their own. By using the buddy system, nobody will get lost and there will also be a family member nearby in case of emergency.
Ship bulky items ahead to your destination
There are situations where you may need bulky items such as diapers at your destination. To lessen the load while traveling, you can easily ship items ahead before you even travel. Just keep in mind that some hotels may charge a small holding fee to receive packages, so call ahead, speak to them and clarify if there will be any charges before you shipping. Sending bulky items home at the end of the trip is also a great idea. Depending on the airline and in most cases, shipping items back with logistic companies such as DHL will be more cost-effective than paying the extra baggage fees at the airport.
Plan For Downtime Every Day
Traveling with family can be tiring, especially when your young ones are not used to moving from place to place. This is why you need to include locations where your kids can unwind after a long day out. This will also help them to better digest everything that they have learned during the day. Downtime is also great for parents to relax!
Always Leave Extra Time When Traveling with the Family
You should always keep in mind that everything takes longer when you are traveling with kids, the more parties the longer it takes. Leaving extra time applies to every part of your trip with your family from flying to visiting the museums.
Note: when exploring a new destination with the family, it is best to walk at the pace of the slowest member of the family so everyone stays together and plays together.
Give Your Contact Information To The Kids
When traveling with kids, it's every parent's nightmare to lose a little one. This is why you need to ensure that everyone in your travel group has each other's contact information. You can put a note with your contact information in one of your kid's pockets. No pockets no worries, be creative, wristbands, necklaces, clothes tags are all options down to putting a little card in the belt loop or clip it on shoes. All you have to do is make sure the kids know where to find it. For older kids, help them memorize your contact information or save your local address on their phone.
Family travel is about creating long-lasting memories and this should always be your main goal. Be flexible and change your travel plans if needed. It is a family trip after all, so take plenty of selfies and pictures, and laugh as much as you can. Doing everything together when traveling helps build and strengthen family bonds. Kids spell love, T-I-M-E and will surely treasure family travel moments well into adulthood and beyond. And that my friends is why you should travel with kids.
We hope you have found these tips helpful. If you have enjoyed this article, please share it with your family and friends.
Have a wonderful day wherever you are and safe travels.